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Miami Heat vs. Orlando Magic,
10-17-2018 - Prediction & Preview

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Game Snapshot with Current Line

#705 Miami
Heat -2.5
#706 Orlando
Magic 210.5

Wednesday, October 17, 2018 at 7:05pm

Image licensed from USA Today Sports

Game Stats

Miami Heat

0 - 0

42-41
ATS
39-45
O/U
103
PPG
103
OPPG

Orlando Magic

0 - 0

36-44
ATS
34-48
O/U
103
PPG
108
OPPG

Wednesday night marks the season opener for both teams as the Miami Heat travel to Orlando to play the Magic. Miami finished the preseason with a 3-3 record and Orlando finished below .500 with a 2-3 record. The Heat are coached by Eric Spoelstra and Steve Clifford makes his Magic coaching debut. Tip-off at the Amway Center is set for 7:00 pm Eastern.

Miami Looking for More Than Just Making the Playoffs

Wednesday night marks the season opener for both teams as the Miami Heat travel to Orlando to play the Magic. Miami finished the preseason with a 3-3 record and Orlando finished below .500 with a 2-3 record. The Heat are coached by Eric Spoelstra and Steve Clifford makes his Magic coaching debut. Tip-off at the Amway Center is set for 7:00 pm Eastern.

Miami returns 12 players from a 2018 squad that went 44-38. That record earned Miami a six seed in the East and were bounced in the first round by the Philadelphia 76ers four games to one.

SG Dion Waiters missed the majority of last season and won’t be suiting up against Orlando. SG Wayne Ellington has a sprained ankle and most likely will be out and PF James Johnson missed Sunday’s practice with an undisclosed illness.

The Heat don’t have a single star on their team and that hurts them on the offensive side of things. They also have problems offensively when playing against teams with superior talent and far too often the Heat have had to rely on their defense and some luck to beat one of those teams. Use last season’s playoff series against the Philadelphia 76ers as exhibit A.

Outside of SG Rodney McGruder, the Heat didn’t have one player shoot over 40 percent from beyond the arc. Last season Ellington finished in the top 50 three point shooters and Kelly Olynyk finished in the top 80.  Goran Dragic (89) and Tyler Johnson (100) round out the serious Heat three point shooting threats.

The Heat defense allowed 43.5 points per game (ppg) in the paint and finished eighth in the League in defensive efficiency. Miami averaged 7.6 steals, 5.3 blocks and 34.2 defensive rebounds per game. Opponents averaged 15.6 ppg off of turnovers and 11.8 ppg on second chance points. Miami was 24-17-2 ATS as the road team and 4-5 as the road favorite.

Magic Still in Rebuild Mode

The Magic has been in rebuilding mode for the past seven seasons and more than likely will be doing so again this season. They hired Steve Clifford to help with this and he’ll bring his defense first mindset to a team who posted a defensive efficiency rating of 104.8. That rating was good for fourth in the NBA last season.

The Magic drafted Mo Bamba and are expecting him to be part of a “BIG Three” that includes Aaron Gordon and Jonathan Isaac.

D.J. Augustin is penciled in as the starting PG for the Magic with former Chicago Bulls PG Jerian Grant listed as his backup. Many believe Augustin is the worst starting PG in the NBA but these same people fail to recognize he finished in the top 20 with his three point shooting.

Speaking of three point shooting; SG Evan Fournier is the only other current Magic player finishing in the top 100 as three point shooters. That shouldn’t come as much of a surprise as the Magic finished 28th in the NBA in three-point shooting.

Orlando allowed 48.3 points in the paint and as previously mentioned finished fourth in the NBA in defensive efficiency. Orlando managed 7.6 steals, 4.9 blocks and opponents averaged 17 points per game off of Magic turnovers. Orlando allowed 12.8 second chance points per game and were 17-24 ATS at the Amway Center and 14-14 as the home underdog.

The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.

Full-Game Side Bet
Rating:

This game features two terrible three point shooting teams who seem to enjoy playing defense. That might be antithetical to today’s NBA but from a sports betting standpoint this is pure gold.

Miami has something that very few teams has; continuity. This same team has essentially played together for nearly three seasons in a row and that matters. Especially early in the season when chemistry seems to win as many games as talent. Just ask the Golden State Warriors about that one.

We mentioned how the Heat has a difficult time against talented offensive teams. As nice as their young roster looks and as fun as it is to watch Aaron Gordon do his thing the Magic aren’t one of those teams. Neither team has an exceptional three point shooter but the Heat backcourt trumps Orlando’s backcourt and the Heat frontcourt is much better and more experienced than their Magic opponents.  Plus Miami has Spoelstra as its coach.

Play the Heat and lay the two points Wednesday night.

Prediction: Miami -2

Full-Game Total Pick
Rating:

These two offenses aren’t the type to put up big numbers on a nightly basis. They don’t have enough three point shooters to do so. Plus, neither team plays at the pace to score 210 points. These are frontcourt dominant teams and the bigs don’t shoot free throws all that well.

This is also the beginning of the season and rotations haven’t been set yet. Put all that together and you have a 100-95 type of game. At least that’s what the numbers look like to me. Play the under in this one tonight.

Prediction: Under 210.5

Phil Naessens

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